Promoting Your Department

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Promoting Your Department
by John Baker, InSource Board of Directors
Creative Director
Group RCI
There are a number of reasons why promoting your creative in-house department throughout your corporation is important. Obviously, the first one is to let your potential clients know of your existence. Shared services departments such as human resources, information technology (IT) and office facilities are a given, but not necessarily creative. Try to obtain a company organizational chart and identify any contacts or areas where you haven’t done work. Send the department head e-mail and place this person on your contact list for future communications and promotions. Better yet, set up a one-on-one meeting to develop a relationship.

Second, it’s important to share your full capabilities with clients. Some clients may not know that your group can develop interactive presentations. And even if your team doesn’t have certain skill sets to meet the job requirements, seek assistance from a third party. Be the resource that your clients will turn to for assistance. Develop a departmental portfolio and set up meetings with potential clients to help them visualize your team’s strengths and accomplishments.
Promoting your department doesn’t have to be a strain on your budget. There are a lot of great ideas you can offer that cost little or no money. One idea I have put in place is doing a monthly e-mail blast that showcases a successful project. This e-mail contains an image of the final product that I place into a “postal stamp” frame. This gives the e-mail a campaign that goes along with the idea of sending out first-class mail. Within the image I have incorporated our logo, along with the project type, poster, brochure, and other details. Over time I am able to gather the images and piece them together so I can print a sheet of all of our spotlights together. Underneath the image are the project description and the business objective, along with the department name we worked for. This idea became successful not only to help showcase our capabilities, but also to show that we were the ones who developed that particular piece, not an outside agency.

Another idea is to share news about any awards and recognition your department receives. Again, this can be done through an e-mail blast, along with displaying awards within your office space. Whenever possible, you can obtain a duplicate award for your client and perhaps invite your client to the award presentation.
For internal projects such as newsletters, magazines and other collateral materials, place a credit line to convey your department created the piece. A line of copy can go a long way and help spread the word about your team.

If your budget allows, another great idea is to create a calendar. As we all know, working in a corporation doesn’t always provide opportunities for us creative types to express ourselves with all of our talents. For some, it might be illustration; for others, photography may work best. A calendar may include past illustrations and photographs along with creating new work. Each month one’s work of art can be displayed that corresponds with a particular season or holiday. We always include the artist and department name as a signature. To house each calendar, we have used a CD jewel case, which served great as a frame. Our clients love it and look forward to receiving one again the following year.

With all that said, the best, quickest and most reliable way to promote your creative in-house team that doesn’t cost a dime is word of mouth. Nothing works better than when people come to you and start off a conversation or an e-mail by saying they were referred to you by a particular person who knows your work.

If anyone has other great ideas you want to share, please feel free to contact InSource with your own story. Feel free to log onto the InSource Forum and post your thoughts.

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